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PowerVC with IBM i licensing considerations

By Becky Dimock posted Wed January 20, 2016 12:00 AM


By Becky Dimock,

Lead information developer for PowerVC

PowerVC is a powerful management tool for your IBM i workloads, but you need to be sure that your usage follows the software license requirements. Today we’ll talk about some basic concepts around IBM i licensing, and then we’ll take a more in-depth look at IBM i Live Partition Mobility (LPM) and IBM i with Enterprise Pools. Note that when we talk about IBM i with PowerVC, we’re referring to the IBM i operating system running on a managed host.

At a very basic level, IBM i licensing is based on the hardware model, machine size (small, medium, and large), and processor groups, also known as software tiers.  In general, one license (or “entitlement”) is required per processor core. Some IBM i models allow per user licenses to be used in addition to per processor licensing.  It is important to note that a “user” refers to a person who accesses IBM i.  It does not refer to a user ID, profile, etc.

When working with IBM i, you must understand these general rules.  For full details, see the IBM Software License Agreements.

To manage your software entitlements, visit the Entitled Software Support website.

PowerVM Live Partition Mobility (LPM)

PowerVC works together with PowerVM LPM to help you easily balance your workloads. LPM allows running virtualized workloads (i.e. virtual machines) to be seamlessly moved from one Power Systems server to another, without disruption to end users or service levels. When movement via LPM occurs, the source and destination systems must be owned or leased by the same enterprise. Therefore, you cannot move virtual machines between your machine and a service provider machine.  Note that when a virtual machine is moved, the entire image – including all software in it - is moved.   Passport Advantage products are subject to different terms and conditions.  See the  “Sub-capacity (Virtualization) License Counting Rules” PDF.

For IBM i, the following license requirements apply to virtual machines with IBM i workload that are moved temporarily to another system:

If a virtual machine is moved permanently, the licensing rules are the same as those for a manual permanent migration to a new system.  There are no special rules for a permanent move via LPM. All standard transfer terms and current transfer offerings apply.  For example:

For more information about IBM i LPM, go to IBM i Technology Updates, then choose Hardware and Firmware > Live Partition Mobility.

Power Enterprise Pools

With the PowerVC Dynamic Resource Optimizer, you can enable Mobile CoD as an optimization option.  This requires the use of Power Enterprise Pools. Power Enterprise Pools enable you to move processor and activate memory within a defined pool of systems.  When using Power Enterprise Pools, you need to understand the following licensing information:

  • You can temporarily transfer software entitlements within the pool for eligible programs, but you must license at least one core entitlement on each system. These are the eligible programs that can be transferred in a Power Enterprise Pool: AIX, IBM i, PowerVM, PowerSC, PowerHA for AIX, PowerHA for i, PowerVP, PowerVC, IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack.

Note that while the requirement is a minimum of one core entitlement of eligible programs on each system in the pool, if you are using a hot backup solution, such as that provided by logical replication technology, you will need as many cores licensed on a target system that are required to conduct the replication workload

Note that the IBM i license manager is not aware of this entitled movement and might post warning issues indicating that the IBM i licensing on the server is out of compliance.  Ignore any such messages in a pool configuration or during temporary LPM migrations.

IBM i 5250 Enterprise Enablement is the hardware activation that turns on interactive usage on the server. These enablements are temporarily transferable from a server in the pool that has more than one entitlement or from a server that has a full entitlement.

Each server in the pool that is going to use 5250 capability must have at least one 5250 Enterprise Enablement feature which is not transferable.  With a Full Enterprise Enablement feature, 5250 entitlements can be transferred up to the number of mobile processor activations.

Hopefully, we have answered your IBM i related licensing questions for PowerVC.  If you need further information about IBM i licensing, feel free to contact us or refer to  “IBM i License Topics”.  And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!